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Much Better Than Given Credit For
7/10 A retired CIA operative (Richard Gere) is paired with a young FBI agent (Topher Grace) to unravel the mystery of a senator's murder, with all signs pointing to a Soviet assassin.5 years ago
On top of the great casting of the leads, you also have Martin Sheen being as dignified as ever and Odette Yustman having a smaller, but important role. All around, the casting was just spot on.
What is great about this film is that the words "action star" rarely come up when talking about Grace or Gere, but both have a high level of anger, energy and violence in this flick. I think it marks a great expansion in both of their ranges.
I saw a review that said the film should allow us to "think" more. And yes, one of the key twists is given away far too early in the film. But I think this exposition is warranted, given the bigger twist that comes up later on... and ultimately leads to a chilling ending if you think about what will happen after the credits roll (I am being vague here to not give anything away). I hear (but do not know) that the first twist was even revealed in the trailer. Okay, that was a little too early.
Ebert is surprisingly nice to this movie compared to the average viewer. He says, "Here is a movie constructed from basic parts at the Used Screenplay Store, with a character plugged in whenever one is required." But then he goes and gives the film two stars out of four -- not a terrible rating. He also says the writers had a better film when they wrote "3:10 to Yuma", and that is certainly true.
I want to give this film a second viewing... I did not understand at first about the Russians in Mexico. And now that I do, I want to see the scene again... hmmm. Looks like the film hooked me.
A good film but it could have let the viewer think a bit more.
7/10 Richard Gere plays "Paul Shepherdson," a decorated CIA veteran who is just pulled out of retirement & teamed up with new & upcoming agent, Ben Geary (Topher Grace) to find the truth about the Russian assassin "Cassius," who Shepherdson claimed to have killed years before. The intel says he lives & is now in the US. The movie follows the duo as the real truth of the matter comes closer, and things are not always as they seem, not like we haven't heard that line before in countless intelligence genre films. It just failed to deliver surprise as very early we are bombarded with hints as to who's who. All the elements where there, great actors & production but the script wasn't as brilliant as it could have been. They could have played out an extraordinary cat & mouse game if things in the script were changed. I did enjoy watching this and I give a 7/10 generously as I'm a fan of both Grace & Gere.5 years ago
Also I would recommend a watch at least on the web, cause the ad campaign failed so horribly in marketing the film, maybe they could at least go VOD or STV cause it really deserves more.
This plot hole sums up the whole film.
2/10 "Plot holes The logic by which Agent Geary "proves" that Shepherdson (Richard Gere) is Cassius is flawed. The "proof" is that Gere is in every crime scene photo, thus proving "Cassius comes back to the crime scene". But as Gere was in fact posing as investigating CIA agent, supposedly chasing Cassius, it was not only normal, but essential for him to go to all the crime scenes of Cassius' murders. "5 years ago
This film is dumb. It has the budget and the actors but it can't make up for the dumb script. The actors performances were disappointing, probably because they couldn't bring themselves to believe and immerse themselves in such a lame plot.
Slow, clichéd, predictable, poorly executed
3/10 Boy, how Richard Gere's career has dived since the days of American Gigolo and Internal Affairs. Yes, occasionally he shows up in a fairly good movie like Hachiko or Unfaithful, but then the superior performances are from other actors (Diane Lane, in that particular case).5 years ago
This movie really shows the one-dimensional acting Gere does when given a poorly written script. Why he even bothers is mystifying.
Anyway, the movie is about Paul Sheperdson, a retired CIA agent played by Richard Gere, that once hunted down and killed 6 assassins of a group of 7. This was back in the 80s. He never got the last guy, and suddenly chose to retire.
Now 20 years later, he's asked to help track down the one who got away by working with a rookie FBI agent.
**Minor Spoiler alert** Early on, the film dispenses with mystery by revealing that Gere the retired CIA agent really is the escaped assassin himself. With that out of the way, the rest of the movie is about the rookie FBI agent getting closer and closer to finding out who the assassin is, and about Gere the assassin / CIA agent killing a few people here and there. **End Spoiler**
Of course, there is another twist towards the end. I won't say, but it feels contrived. Besides, by the time it comes you've long given up connecting to the characters, so who cares?
Problems: The major problems with this movie are: the script is poor, with gaping holes and poorly developed characters. There is absolutely no chance in hell you will ever care for any of the characters. The story is dull - you've seen it a thousand times before, and sometimes a thousand times better. The ex-spy / assassin theme doesn't resonate with anything on anybody's mind in our world, so nobody cares what happens in the movie at any point.
Direction: The film contains a few flashbacks to the 80s, where we get to see Richard Gere play Paul Sheperdson as a young agent. Except they FORGOT to make him look younger! For sure, Gere the actor looks incredible for his age (63, he's born in 1949) with his gray, full hair. But you wouldn't expect the CIA operative he plays to have the same hair color 20 years ago, would you?
The action sequences are not very exciting. Gere wielding his The acting is very bad. Topher Grace as the (supposedly brilliant) rookie FBI Agent is seriously miscast, while Richard Gere needs to ditch the action genre. Martin Sheen is there, and does an OK job I guess. No other characters will make any impression on you.
Conclusion: It doesn't suck completely, it just isn't worth your while and there are more exciting things to do.
A Cold War Themed Movie 20 Years After The End Of The Cold War
7/10 This is, at times, a very confusing movie. It can be forgiven for that - because clearly it's intended to be. The opening scenes of the movie (a group of illegal immigrants apparently attempting to cross into the US from Mexico) are a bit disorienting. They don't seem to fit with what you expect the movie to be about (I even questioned briefly to myself whether the video store had accidentally packed the wrong movie into the case!) Once it gets going, though, it's compelling.5 years ago
Basically, the story revolves around the search for the person who assassinated a US Senator, with the prime suspect being a Soviet agent who everyone believed had been killed years before. So - yes - it was an interesting way of bringing back a sort of Cold War theme to a movie made more than 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union. There are two experts on this Russian agent known as Cassius: CIA agent Shepherdson (Richard Gere) and FBI agent Geary (Topher Grace). They get put together as a team to try to piece the puzzle together. The first twist to the story comes about a half hour through the movie, which leaves you wondering a bit what the point of the movie is, but there's a later twist that was (to me, at least) unexpected. It's pretty well done. Gere and Grace worked pretty well together. I haven't really seen much of Topher Grace since he was the star of "That 70's Show." He's matured a great deal as an actor.
There are some pretty good action scenes in this, but to its credit the movie doesn't go overboard on action. It tends to focus mostly on the relationship between Shepherdson and Geary. It's a pretty decent effort. (7/10)